Indonesian Chicken Curry

Posted By Kerri


I got this recipe from a friend who described it as “similar in sweetness to a tikka masala but with Thai style spices”. I know nothing about Indonesian cuisine and have never cooked or eaten it before but was intrigued by the description and have been planning to cook it for the last couple of weeks.

The original recipe is a little more straightforward than the method I ended up employing. I decided to make a paste out of some of the ingredients and fry the chicken in it, much like we do with green curry as I thought this would be a good way to maximise the flavours. I also increased some of the spicing as I haven’t eaten much recently and wanted something full of flavour.

It turned out well. The flavours were subtle and warming without the heat of a Thai curry but very similar due to the lemongrass and coconut milk. The cardamom added a smoky, aniseed note which gave the dish a rounded flavour.

Indonesian Chicken Curry
Serves Two

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
3 green cardamoms
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 can coconut milk
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tsp soft light brown sugar
1 tsp fish sauce

I started off by making the paste. Once that was ready, I removed the cream from the top of the coconut milk and fried that until it started to separate. At this stage, I added the paste and fried it until it began to brown – about four minutes. Add a little oil at this point if it starts to stick

Add the chicken, ensure it is well coated in the paste and cook for about five minutes, turning all the time. Again, add a little more oil if necessary.

Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

I did this ahead of time and found there was a lot of residual oil (my fault for adding too much at the beginning). Once the dish had cooled down, I removed the excess oil and heated it back up slowly. Add some extra cooked vegetables and serve over jasmine rice.

Dec 1st, 2009

6 Comments to 'Indonesian Chicken Curry'

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  1. This looks fantastic and like a perfect winter warmer. Love the photo with the weave of the place mat as well.
    .-= gourmet chick´s last blog ..Jak’s cafe =-.

  2. Why do you put the cream in first to separate it? And when you make the paste do you just whiz that up in a food processor? Sounds very delicious and easy to make! xxx
    .-= The Curious Cat´s last blog ..Sooo…. =-.

  3. Lizzie said,

    I haven’t had a Thai / Indonesian curry in ages, and this has given me a full on craving.
    .-= Lizzie´s last blog ..Aubergine-Wrapped Ricotta Gnocchi =-.

  4. James said,

    Ditto. Haven’t had in ages. Indonesian cooking’s so good.

    Got any good Christmas cooking tips for me?
    .-= James´s last blog ..The twelve days of Christmas cooking tips – Blog, Facebook & Twitter event: send yours in now! =-.

  5. Stephen said,

    Curious Cat, it’s an old traditional way of frying the paste – after a while, the cream will split into oil and solids, meaning that you can fry your paste in it because it has gone oily. You can just add some oil and fry the paste in that and then add all of the coconut milk after if you like instead.

  6. Antonia said,

    This looks really good – a really tempting photo that makes me want to dive straight in!
    I haven’t eaten much Indonesian food but we have just discovered Nancy Lam’s restaurant just down the road from us – we’ve had a couple of excellent Indonesian dishes there.
    .-= Antonia´s last blog ..Rabbit and artichoke paella =-.

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